When a house is being inherited, it is almost always going through probate. Probate is essentially the legal process of when he assets and property of a loved one are divided and distributed amongst the heirs. My first and absolute most important piece of advice for you would be to choose a good attorney to handle your probate case. Be the heir that chooses the attorney, so that you choose a good one! Probate can be extremely stressful and can take many months to complete. Attorneys often have a lot of cases and are booked out quite a ways. Choosing your own (GOOD) attorney can make the process go much quicker as your own attorney is usually going to be faster and far more responsive since you are the one who has hired them.
One of the most important things to understand during probate if there are multiple heirs, is to make sure that everybody gets on the same page. Sometimes there is one person who wants to sell right away and get their money as quick as possible. At the same time there is another person who doesn’t want to sell at all. When one heir gets elected as a personal representative and is given authority over deciding when and for house much to sell, this can really be a huge help.
Another thing to understand when inheriting a house is going to be the associated costs. The holding costs is something that a lot of people don’t fully anticipate. While a house is being inherited or going through probate, somebody has to take care of the utilities, the maintenance, as well as the property taxes.
If your property has a mortgage or is located in a neighborhood with an HOA, you will need to make sure to keep up with these monthly payments. In many of the probate cases we see with a mortgaged property, the heirs don’t want to or cannot afford to take care of the monthly payments. It’s important to know that if the mortgage is not paid the house can fall into foreclosure even though it is actively in the probate process. Additional interest and fees will not begin to accrue and ultimately, it will be your responsibility.
Another cost to note if you had a loved one who had other debts like other loans or credit cards, these debtors will need to be paid prior to you being able to profit from the sale of the property.
Attorney fees are something else to plan for. Make sure when choosing your attorney to talk about the fees and how much the entire process is going to costs before starting. Knowing about this in advance will keep you from being surprised at the very end.
One final type of cost if going to be the closing costs. Talk to a title company and learn about the closing costs that you are going to be charged when selling and don’t forget to plan for paying real estate commissions if you are going to be using a Realtor. It’s a common misconception that people believe they have to use a Realtors to sell an inherited house. However, when a house that is being inherited is in disrepair, many people sell to a cash buyer without using Realtors at all. Aside from special cases, you won’t need any attorney approval in selecting an offer. This is a decision that can be made between the family or the elected personal representative.
One last final piece of advice when selling is to start working on selling before probate finishes. A lot of people think that they need to wait for the entire probate to finish before they can start trying to sell the house, and that is simply not true. Start talking to potential buyers as soon as possible. If you have a buyer before probate is complete, that can shorten the selling process considerably.
Hopefully this video has given you a little bit of useful advice when dealing with an inherited house. When it is time to sell your house, we would love if you give us a call or go on the website and fill out the form on our website. We would love to work with you.